In 2020, we saw people across the country make their voices heard with an urgency America hasn’t witnessed in decades. We marched in cities from coast to coast to express the need for social justice in our country. We advocated for change, pushing for more equity and inclusion.
The core of our chorus in protest after protest, “Black Lives Matter,” is a demand for action — an insistent call to finally tend to the overdue work of elevating Black voices and centering Black experiences.
That call was heeded at the ballot box here in Washington State, with more Black candidates elected than ever before.
Now that we have transitioned into 2021, it is more important than ever to keep building that momentum beyond electoral politics. We must continue to lift our voices and advocate for change throughout our society.
Major League Baseball (MLB) has a race problem. Its least accomplished member, the Seattle Mariners, has an even worse one. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most woeful franchise in all of professional sports also has a longstanding awkwardness — to put it kindly — with race.
As the Washington State Legislature responds to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Washington families continue to struggle with multiple crises, and we need action from our leaders now. As a local mother and advocate, I am urging lawmakers to take bold and swift action to get immediate relief to communities and families.
Kevin Mather said he was “tired” of paying an interpreter for Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who wanted to return to the Seattle Mariners as a coach. Iwakuma’s English, Mather said, is “terrible.” And prospective outfielder Julio Rodriguez?
When I first thought about getting vaccinated, it wasn’t about whether I would or not, it was about when. I did not want to be part of the initial rollout, figuring some kinks would need to be worked out. I likened it to getting the newest cell phone when they’re released. The first edition consistently seems to have something not quite right but then they get it figured out over subsequent releases. I thought the vaccine would follow a similar course. Let’s get the first year under our belts and see what kind of outcomes there are. No way did I think there would be an effective vaccine available in 2020.
Giovonn Joseph-McDade was a 20-year-old Green River College student when Kent Police officer William Davis shot him to death after a vehicle chase in June 2017. According to his mother, Sonia Joseph, Giovonn was a humble kid with a passion for sports, especially football, who kept fit, healthy, and positive, and had three younger brothers who loved and looked up to him.
On Jan. 12, the House Public Safety Committee in Olympia heard public testimony on House Bill 1054 (HB 1054), legislation that has the potential to save lives like Giovonn’s, needlessly and tragically taken at the hands of police. HB 1054 deals with multiple police tactics that have resulted in the loss of life and injury to the people of Washington state, including a ban on vehicle pursuits. It’s a bill that deserves a vote on the House floor as soon as possible and in its strongest form.
A decade ago, I went through a brief period of long-distance running. During that time, I was introduced to the idea that, no matter the length of the run, it will be the last half mile that nearly kills you. My father, a man who has made a personal study of physical endurance in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, often refers to this phenomenon as the “heartbreak half mile.” It is when we see the light at the end of a challenge that we start to fully experience the cost of the miles behind us, exponentially compounding the effort ahead. The last stretch may be short, but it is intense as hell and is often where we most squarely face ourselves.
Brett Hamil is a writer, cartoonist and performer living on the South End of Seattle. He produces the weekly comedy show Joketellers Unionand the political comedy talk showThe Seattle Process. The Seattle Weekly (RIP) once called him “the city’s premier political comic.”
by Julianna Alson, Omid Bagheri Garakani, Miranda Vargas
Dear Mayor Durkan,
We are Seattle-based public health practitioners and homeless service providers imploring you to stop the removals of homeless encampments. We also endorse Councilmember Morales’ Council Bill 119796 to limit encampment removals during the state of emergency. Seattle is under the national spotlight of pandemic response. You have the choice to set an example for the country with evidence-based public health strategies that truly protect public health and safety.
Five years ago, I was living in San Francisco as a homeless young adult. My experiences being homeless are formational to the person I am today.
I currently work at The Mockingbird Society as a veteran of homelessness, fighting to uplift the voices of homeless youth and young adults, and advocate for legislation to end homelessness altogether. Although we do not provide direct services to our homeless neighbors, my work has me engaging with the community, service providers, and officials at the city, county, and state level.